Posted in clutter, family, Organizing, Uncategorized

Are You Facing A Paper Avalanche?

Paper work. Paper avalanche. Paper chase. Whatever you call it I know papers they are the downfall of many of you.  What to do what do you need to keep?

Most financial papers fit in to one of 3 categories

  • Keep indefinitely
  • Keep for 7 years
  • Keep for a year or less

Keep For A Calendar Year Or Less

ATM receipts and deposit slips –  when you receive your bank statements you can shred them.

Charge slips (unless it is for a major purchase), for minor purchases once you are satisfied with the purchase. Shred the receipt when your credit card statement.

If you do not have a home office you don’t need to keep your utility bills, monthly  mortgage statements or quarterly investment reports.

Keep your pay stubs, credit card statements and investment reports until you receive the W-2 or year-end summaries. Once you have those you don’t need the monthly statements.

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Photo by Mari-Helin-Tuominen

Keep Seven Years

Year end credit-card summaries, along with your W-2s and 1099s.

If you itemize your tax return you need to keep all documents you utilized to determine your deductions. These additional documents you should retain include: canceled checks and receipts for all deductible business expenses (such as those for entertainment, home-office equipment, and professional dues), retirement-account contributions, charitable donations, child-care bills, out-of-pocket medical expenses, alimony, and mortgage-interest and property-tax payments.

After 7 years you should scan the actual tax returns or the year-end summaries of your investment accounts as they can come in very handy for future financial planning.  Then you can store them on a flash drive or a CD in a safe place.1024px-Usb-thumb-drive

Infinitely:

Keep receipts for major purchases and receipts that show how much you’ve paid for home improvements as long at your own your home. This will satisfy three things: Insurance claims, potential buyers and when you sell your home to reduce possible capital gains.

Keep beneficiary designation confirmation and purchase price slips that show beneficiary designations and the purchase price of stocks, mutual funds, and any other investments you hold.

It goes without saying that you need to keep your will, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, property deeds, and other permanent records in a safe but accessible place near your other financial documents, so you and your heirs will always be able to get to them quickly, if they need to.

Invest in a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box for your forever documents.

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I  suggest scanning and digitizing your important personal documents as a back up copy. More info on this by News Leavitt Just remember a digital copy is not the same as a paper copy but it is much easier to obtain a replacement copy of you have a photo copy.

Also, invest in a shredder.  In today’s world you really don’t want personal information floating around out there.  You can find them for not much money.

For more information  how long to keep your documents check here for more info from bankrate.com.  They have a very detailed list.

Now that you know what to keep and what to shred, I have a post on how to deal your paper as it come in the door.  If you would like to read it here is the link  Did you get Stacked?

I hope this helps you let go of your papers.  I love your comments.

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#organize, #clutter, #paperwork, #documents #taxtime

 

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Posted in Organizing

Green eggs??

  • Happy March!  St. Patrick’s day is around the corner and it is a day the lore of green beer, green eggs…….
    Green eggs……….   I don’t think that is a good thingleaf-nature-green-spring-158780.jpeg

    While we are on the subject of green.  Have you looked in your refrigerator lately?  Is there anything green in there?
    Do you have containers in there that are growing mold or are fuzzy?  Let’s get rid of that.  Leftovers should be cleared out on a weekly basis.  In our house, we have garbage pick-up one time per week so Wednesday night is clean out the fridge night.
    For a long time, we did not put anything in containers.  We used zip top re-closable baggies.  If you are not good at eating leftovers and you find that you have lots of science projects growing in your fridge you might try zip top baggies too.  At least you don’t have to open them to trash them.  Stink no more.

    Another thing, do you have 10 different types of salad dressing and other condiments in your fridge?  Why?  Organize your fridge by zone.  You have a crisper, a deli drawer, and a butter shelf, so why not a dressing space.  If you keep your condiments together you will not have to search and hopefully not have multiple opened bottles cluttering up your fridge.

    We have a deep freeze.  It is a chest type which can become the place where good veggies to the freezer burn and die.  But you can control that by adding some organizing.  I suggest you have some crates or dividers to sort your food and keep like items together.  For example, we have a space we keep our ground beef, a crate for veggies, a tray that sits on top of the crate for fruits.  I know that we frequently use chicken so having a designated stop means I don’t have to dig to see what is there.
    We also have a system that every 6 months where we don’t buy any freezer foods until we eat everything that is in there.  It forces us to use what we have on hand.  No more 1 corndog and 3 pizza rolls abandoned at the bottom of the freezer.  I plan this for just before Thanksgiving.  I am then sure I can fit an extra turkey in the freezer so when Christmas comes around and ham is on sale but not turkey I am ahead of the game.

Remember you have to break a few eggs if you want to make an omelet!

Happy spring!bird-nest-eggs-blue-158734.jpeg

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Found Money ~ Is it free money?- Leftover Change

Did you know that American’s have on average $90 in loose change.

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SO how many of you have a change jar, mug or bowl? I know some of you have spare change in multiple places..

Do you have any change in the laundry room from when you are emptying pockets, or that you found in the washer or dryer. Remember, finders keepers!

How about in a closet then you empty you pockets? Or in the bottom of your handbags, are you guilty or just taking out the “stuff you need” and leaving the rest?

Look in your old wallets and don’t forget to check all your coats too.

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Do you have spare change in a drawer maybe from the change you get from when you have pizza delivered? What about your desk drawer? How about those greeting cards did you forget that you have $5 dollars from your Aunt Dolly? What about your kids toy boxes? (I am not suggesting you raid you kid’s piggy banks.)

Are you hoarding rolls of coins in a box in a closet or under your bed?

Could there be spare change in your car, under the seats, in the ashtray, deep in the center console or the cup holders that have a few grimy coins that are covered in soda syrup?  Sometimes there is a stash of spare change in the garage from when you cleaned out the car.

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Oh just in case you thought I might forget ~ check those cushions in your furniture.

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So if you take this opportunity to gather all those coins you might find that you have some unexpected fun money. Possibly you have lots of spare change just gathering dust. Wouldn’t it be fun to find out how much you can find?

Most banks will take your change and count it for you. They will then just add it to your account for no fee. Many other places there are coin machines that will cash in your coins on the spot.

See organizing can be fun and profitable.  Well maybe ~  it’s almost like free money. Not really more like forgotten money, but what are you waiting for. Round up those coins! I can’t wait to hear about your discover. What will you do with your spare change? Tell me where you found your spare change.bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

#Money #change #coins #organized #clutter #momlife

Posted in Organizing

Minimalist Challenge

I love this challenge! Remember February is the shortest month! Can you do it?

Praying for Eyebrowz

I joined a minimalist challenge group on Facebook. Our goal is to declutter our lives by getting rid of a specific number of items every day in February. On day one, we have to get rid of one item, on day two, two items, and so on. By the end of February each participant will have discarded a total of 424 items. I think. I might’ve forgotten to carry a two in one or more of my calculations. I know there’s a formula that might’ve made the process simpler, but my algebra days are far behind me.

Participants can send items to the trash bin, donate them, or give them to friends as gifts. Additionally, no items that are merely “wants” can be purchased during the month unless an additional four items per want are discarded. There are other rules, but these are the main ones.

Frankly, I’m not sure…

View original post 119 more words

Posted in Organizing

Tips On Decluttering a Closet — kelleysdiy

Kelly tells it like it is.  She is exactly on point in de-cluttering her closet.  Enjoy her post.  Thanks Pamela

It’s winter time and so cold outside. I thought this would be a great time to start decluttering your closet. We’ve all been there, when closing your closet door becomes an all out war. It’s time to go through your closet, organize and get rid of some things. Sure, the task can be daunting, but […]

via Tips On Decluttering a Closet — kelleysdiy

Posted in family, Organizing

Do you make the same resolutions each year?

And So Begins A New Year……12 New Months.

Someone once said do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.  I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding in that statement.  Just because you love what you do does not mean you don’t work and that you don’t work hard.  It just means that you enjoy what you are doing.

A photo by Tim Arterbury. unsplash.com/photos/VkwRmha1_tI

With each New Year many of us find that we need to make resolutions or feel the need to take stock of our life.  Now is a great time to use the New Year as a way to better our selves or to take the time to plan out the year.

But before you can do this you must first think about what do you really want?

I was having lunch with a group of women and one of the things that we discovered is that we are sometimes not sure what we really want.  We played a bit of a game where we were  asked to think about these 4 things. We were compelled to learn, reach for, try, test, experiment with, and do by specifically writing down what we needed to feel the following:

Wanted

Happy

Secure

Loved

If you would like to take a closer look take out a piece of paper or open a new page in your computer and divide it into 4 squares.  coffee photo-1444418776041-9c7e33cc5a9c

In the squares write each of the topics.

Wanted                                Happy

Secure                                 Loved

Now think about what makes you feel wanted? What do you need to feel wanted?

What makes you happy?  What do you need to feel happy?

What makes you feel secure? What do you need to feel secure?

What makes you feel loved? What do you need to feel loved?

 

Come up with as many as you can.  Really think about it and write it down.  Any of these could be related to finances, safety, job, education, and flexibility or to family or friends.

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Maybe  your wanted it to have your family come to you for their needs. That you will always have the laundry done or that your husband has what it need to make you a cup of coffee in the morning. You may feel wanted by knowledge that you are very good at your job or that you are the go to person in certain situations.  You are the best party planner; you organize all the family dinners or holidays.home-photo-1415301918039-3a58086adf06

Maybe your secure is to own your own home?  Or having a plan for retirement or even for your kid’s college?  Your secure could be knowing that you have marketable job skill? Your secure could be related to finances, safety, job, education, and flexibility or to family.

Your happy could be taking a family vacation or maintaining a calm and organized home?  It could be that you love to cook and preparing a meal for your family or friends makes you happy.

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Your loved could be having a dog greet you at the door and love you unconditionally.  It could be having your husband make you a cup of coffee each morning.  Seeing the joy on your kids faces each day.

Now that you know what you need, you can check how you can get these things.  Now you can make a plan.  Whatever it is you can do it.  So keep learning, reaching, working, reading, trying, resting, and moving forward.

Remember failing to plan is planning to fail.

 So what will you do this year?

 

Thanks Pamela

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Posted in Organizing, Uncategorized

Whack A Mole

Does this sound familiar to you?

You walk past your crammed closet and think “I’ll clean it eventually.” Your overflowing drawers will not close and you think, “Oh what’s the big deal. I haven’t cleaned it because I am busy.”

You can’t find your keys in the pile on your table and say, “So what? Doesn’t everyone have a clutter problem?”

You work really hard to pound down your piles of paper, yet they continue to pop up like Whack-A-Mole. whack-mole

You buy containers and baskets and chalkboard labels to hold your stuff, yet it continues to multiply like bunnies.

But after each attempt to change your ways, the stuff in piles remains. After each failed attempt, the disorganization goes downhill. So why can’t you get control?

As frustrating as it is, you learned something necessary: you can’t just wave a magic wand, buy a bin, or trash a tower of paper and call it organized.

Why does this happen?

It’s a lifestyle. And like any other lifestyle you have to learn and practice. And get better at it every day.

Check back with me often and I will continue to share tips with you. If you think you need my help I am here.

Thanks

Pamela

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Posted in Organizing

Why is it so difficult to find a pen when you need one?

Well for one thing some people have a habit of keeping every one regardless of whether or not it actually works..

Are you ready to solve this problem and remove some clutter today? OK this is an easy one. Ready?

Go get a pen that doesn’t write, or a wooden pencil that you’ll never sharpen and THROW IT AWAY.

DO IT. DO IT NOW.

The only writing implements in your bag, on the jar kitchen counter, or in the drawer in your desk, or the basket on your coffee table, should be ones that actually write!

Excellent! You are one step closer to being organized.

pens markers and such

PS – also throw away all of the markers and sharpies that are dried up and never let them annoy you ever again when you are halfway through scratching over mailing labels when you’re returning stuff to “OH NO YOU DIDN’T. ”

So how many pens did you toss today?

Thanks

Pamela

 

Pam's Bee.jpg

Posted in Organizing, Uncategorized

Psst…… What’s In Your Drawers?

OK, let’s talk about your drawers.

Are you hoarding rubber bands, twist ties, shopping bags or you tell me?

Why? You don’t need 1,000 rubber bands, 50 twist ties from your bread wrappers or 25 paper bags.

Really, you don’t. You might need a dozen rubber bands and a few of the other things. Why do you think you might need them? If you can’t come up with a good reason let them go.

And No a Rainy day is not a good reason.

The better question is, how many have I used in the past 6 months? If you answer is none then you really don’t need them.

rubber band ball

I’ll admit my Dad had an amazing rubber band ball but he had goal. When it reached a certain size he would retire. By the way he did.

 

Throw away, recycle or sell needs to be your mantra!

 

“Happiness is a place between too little and too much” – Finnish Proverb

 

What did you do today to find your happy place today?

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#nomorestess #clutter #organizing #whatisinyourdrawers

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